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UNITED STATES

Male to Male relationships: Legal
Punishments for male to male relationships: No law
Female to Female Relationships: Legal
Age of consent: Equal for heterosexuals and homosexuals
Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: Marriage laws vary in this country depending on area
Is it possible to change your gender on official documents?: Only in some areas
Gay or lesbian able to serve in the armed forces: Yes

Your Views

Are you LGBTI? We want to hear from you! Help us inform other users of the site with your views on this country. Below is a random question about this country. If it is relevant to you please answer it.

Have you undergone medical procedures in UNITED STATES for transition relating to gender identity?

The majority of people visiting this site have said No

Yes, and the treatment was excellent (8%) Yes, and the treatment was fair (25%) Yes, and the treatment was poor (8%) No (58%)

The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in UNITED STATES...
Eric Barnes (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for gay readers on 03/04/2014 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, gender identity, human rights
link
Facebook deleted my group SUPPORT IRAQI GAYS - STOP THE KILLING, a vital outlet for Iraqi gay expression in a country that routinely kills gays. Please read my letter to facebook, as yet unanswered. Will you contact Facebook for me and tell them you are disturbed by this report? Please? Thank you!

April 3, 2014

Dear Facebook administrator,

I was shocked to wake up this morning and learn that my longstanding social group, SUPPORT IRAQI GAYS - STOP THE KILLING was removed for unspecified "content violations." For nearly six years this group has been a vital forum for more than 2,000 iraqi gays who needed a place to communicate online openly as they try to avoid being openly murdered for whom they love.

From my end as founder and administrator, we have become increasingly adept at monitoring the site for porography, hate speech, commercial postings and the like. We now monitor the site 24/7 from both Baghdad and San Francisco looking for content violations. Postings are removed with lightning efficiency if they violate the content standards, and members are banned permenantly for repeat offenses. By any possible standard we have given due diligence to monitoring this site in both Arabic and English - continuously.

In addition, I recall on more than one occasion when Facebook would not allow me to remove a posting, saying "You are not authorized to edit this site" when I am in fact the founder! But other than that we are a page that does not tolerate nudity below the waist, or hate speech of any kind. I have an Iraqi administrator who is on the job when I'm not.

With any group of more than 2,000 young gays you are going to have the occasional violation, but we deal with them increasingly swiftly to ensure that the site is open and friendly to everyone. How could we possibly do more? About a year ago the site was suspended for allegedly violating standards, but I searched the site for evidnce that images had been removed, or that any standards were violated, and could find none. Nothing - and no explanation from Facebook on what the offending content was - or who had posted it!!!

But let's look at the real problem here: Thousands of Iraqi gays face the death penalty in their country for daring to be gay. This page has been one of the few forums available to them to express themselves and meet each other -- and by any POSSIBLE measure my administration of the page has been caring and competent and continuous.

I ask that you restore our page and its members to their former status. I promise we will continue monitoring the site as carefully as we do today. When you show images of two men kissing, there will always be someone who complains, but if they are merely bad actors and there is no pornography or hate speech -- then Facebook needs a way to recognize that that their complaints are not valid and ignore them. We do everything we can here to ensure a good experience for our members. But you didn't even leave a grievance procedure in place for us to challenge this dreadful decision. Without our page, one thing is sure. Iraqi gays will die, Iraqi gays will be hurt, and Iraqi gays will have no forum to share their feelings.

I beg you to reestablish this site in consideration of the enormous social benefit it brings. Paying attention to these things is part of your responsibility as a company. We as administrators can only provide diligence, we cannot prevent members from posting things, we can only remove members who do. And we do so with lightning speed.

I look forward to your reconsideration of this issue.

Very truly yours.


Eric E Barnes
San Francisco

synrg@comcast.net
saucyladd@yahoo.com










Goodbye Iraqi Gays - you are loved

Today brings a sad farewell to my beloved Facebook group "SUPPORT IRAQI GAYS - STOP THE KILLING." To our 2,473 loyal members who for six years asked for nothing more than a chance to be themselves, seize the opportunity to speak out against homophobia and meet and cruise each other in a relentlessly antigay society, I am sorry.

But it wasn't the CIA, it wasn't the Iraqi government, and it wasn't antigay militants who killed the group -- it was Facebook. I got an e-mail at midnight saying the group had been removed for unspecified "content violations" and that was that. There is no response address, no grievance procedure, no image or content specified as violating their community standards.

I consider Facebook's actions to be brutally violent considering the great lengths we went to to keep members' contributions civil and decent. We monitored the site continuously from both San Francisco and Baghdad, in both English and Arabic, constantly on the lookout for porn, hate speech or commercial interests. Violators had their inappropriate postings removed with ever-increasing speed and efficiency, and wayward members were banned permanently for repeat violations.

But the vast majority of members were kind souls who were grateful to have a forum where they could express themselves openly. In recent months more and more members were daring to show their real faces, expressing what can only be their own brand of Queer Pride.

Iraqi gays, I congratulate you on your indomitable spirit and will never forget your bravery, which has touched me deeply. I treasure the few of you who have become real friends too, and hope to keep you around forever.

But Facebook doesn't care about human rights, about the brutality of the antigay violence that continues to this day in Iraq, or about the plight of the oppressed. Facebook doesn't give a whit about its scorched-earth policies -- or that its claimed violations are invisible to the human eye. Facebook DOES want me to know that not only the group, but my personal profile will be removed if "I" continue to violate its nebulous and undefined standards. So go to hell Facebook. The blood of my beloved Iraqi gays is on your hands now.
add response to story
Eric Barnes (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for gay readers on 03/04/2014 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, gender identity, human rights
link
Facebook deleted my group SUPPORT IRAQI GAYS - STOP THE KILLING, a vital outlet for Iraqi gay expression in a country that routinely kills gays. Please read my letter to facebook, as yet unanswered. Will you contact Facebook for me and tell them you are disturbed by this report? Please? Thank you!

April 3, 2014

Dear Facebook administrator,

I was shocked to wake up this morning and learn that my longstanding social group, SUPPORT IRAQI GAYS - STOP THE KILLING was removed for unspecified "content violations." For nearly six years this group has been a vital forum for more than 2,000 iraqi gays who needed a place to communicate online openly as they try to avoid being openly murdered for whom they love.

From my end as founder and administrator, we have become increasingly adept at monitoring the site for porography, hate speech, commercial postings and the like. We now monitor the site 24/7 from both Baghdad and San Francisco looking for content violations. Postings are removed with lightning efficiency if they violate the content standards, and members are banned permenantly for repeat offenses. By any possible standard we have given due diligence to monitoring this site in both Arabic and English - continuously.

In addition, I recall on more than one occasion when Facebook would not allow me to remove a posting, saying "You are not authorized to edit this site" when I am in fact the founder! But other than that we are a page that does not tolerate nudity below the waist, or hate speech of any kind. I have an Iraqi administrator who is on the job when I'm not.

With any group of more than 2,000 young gays you are going to have the occasional violation, but we deal with them increasingly swiftly to ensure that the site is open and friendly to everyone. How could we possibly do more? About a year ago the site was suspended for allegedly violating standards, but I searched the site for evidnce that images had been removed, or that any standards were violated, and could find none. Nothing - and no explanation from Facebook on what the offending content was - or who had posted it!!!

But let's look at the real problem here: Thousands of Iraqi gays face the death penalty in their country for daring to be gay. This page has been one of the few forums available to them to express themselves and meet each other -- and by any POSSIBLE measure my administration of the page has been caring and competent and continuous.

I ask that you restore our page and its members to their former status. I promise we will continue monitoring the site as carefully as we do today. When you show images of two men kissing, there will always be someone who complains, but if they are merely bad actors and there is no pornography or hate speech -- then Facebook needs a way to recognize that that their complaints are not valid and ignore them. We do everything we can here to ensure a good experience for our members. But you didn't even leave a grievance procedure in place for us to challenge this dreadful decision. Without our page, one thing is sure. Iraqi gays will die, Iraqi gays will be hurt, and Iraqi gays will have no forum to share their feelings.

I beg you to reestablish this site in consideration of the enormous social benefit it brings. Paying attention to these things is part of your responsibility as a company. We as administrators can only provide diligence, we cannot prevent members from posting things, we can only remove members who do. And we do so with lightning speed.

I look forward to your reconsideration of this issue.

Very truly yours.


Eric E Barnes
San Francisco

synrg@comcast.net
saucyladd@yahoo.com










Goodbye Iraqi Gays - you are loved

Today brings a sad farewell to my beloved Facebook group "SUPPORT IRAQI GAYS - STOP THE KILLING." To our 2,473 loyal members who for six years asked for nothing more than a chance to be themselves, seize the opportunity to speak out against homophobia and meet and cruise each other in a relentlessly antigay society, I am sorry.

But it wasn't the CIA, it wasn't the Iraqi government, and it wasn't antigay militants who killed the group -- it was Facebook. I got an e-mail at midnight saying the group had been removed for unspecified "content violations" and that was that. There is no response address, no grievance procedure, no image or content specified as violating their community standards.

I consider Facebook's actions to be brutally violent considering the great lengths we went to to keep members' contributions civil and decent. We monitored the site continuously from both San Francisco and Baghdad, in both English and Arabic, constantly on the lookout for porn, hate speech or commercial interests. Violators had their inappropriate postings removed with ever-increasing speed and efficiency, and wayward members were banned permanently for repeat violations.

But the vast majority of members were kind souls who were grateful to have a forum where they could express themselves openly. In recent months more and more members were daring to show their real faces, expressing what can only be their own brand of Queer Pride.

Iraqi gays, I congratulate you on your indomitable spirit and will never forget your bravery, which has touched me deeply. I treasure the few of you who have become real friends too, and hope to keep you around forever.

But Facebook doesn't care about human rights, about the brutality of the antigay violence that continues to this day in Iraq, or about the plight of the oppressed. Facebook doesn't give a whit about its scorched-earth policies -- or that its claimed violations are invisible to the human eye. Facebook DOES want me to know that not only the group, but my personal profile will be removed if "I" continue to violate its nebulous and undefined standards. So go to hell Facebook. The blood of my beloved Iraqi gays is on your hands now.
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add response to story
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